Franz Tost has rejected claims in the media that he 'assaulted' beleaguered Toro Rosso racer Scott Speed after he slid out of Sunday's European grand prix.
Witnesses have reportedly been quoted as describing how Tost, the Faenza based outfit's team principal, physically struck his American charge as they discussed the aquaplaning incident inside the Nurburgring pits.
"I asked Speed why he went off the road," Tost is quoted as saying by the Swiss newspaper Blick.
"He smiled back and asked why his pit stop took so long, and then turned away. I touched him on the shoulder, but I don't think anyone can talk about a war in the pits.
Tost's explanation follows widespread reports that Speed could be replaced by BMW's rookie test driver Sebastian Vettel as soon as the upcoming Hungarian grand prix.
But the Austrian chief is also unhappy with his Italian teammate, Vitantonio Liuzzi.
Tost told Bild: "What can I say? We are not only dissatisfied with our drivers' performance at the Nurburgring, we are dissatisfied with their performances overall."